Unusual Number Of Birds Injured In Weekend Storm

Nov 15, 2020, 10:06 PM | Updated: Nov 17, 2020, 12:01 pm

OGDEN, Utah – Even more injured birds were brought in to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for help after more than a dozen tundra swans were found dead or injured in the Davis County area following Friday night’s storm.

Wildlife officials said they’re trying to figure out exactly what happened to the birds over the weekend.

The swans that survived were brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Ogden, along with about a dozen other birds.

2020 has been a crazy year for the center, which has seen more injured birds and animals this year than ever before.

Authorities don’t know for sure if Friday night’s storm caused the swans’ injuries, but with lightning, hail and high winds, Buz Marthalaer, a co-founder of the Wildlife Resource Center, thinks it’s a pretty good guess.

“They tend to migrate during the night, that’s not unusual,” said Marthalaer. “But just coming through an area right at the moment of an event like that is unusual.”

So far, wildlife officials have recovered at least 15 tundra swans. The five that survived were taken to the WRC, along with nearly a dozen smaller birds, which was ALSO unusual.

“We took in 11 birds yesterday, which for this time of year, typically we’d be seeing 3-5 at the most,” said Marthalaer.

It’s a lot to handle for a center that’s had to cut back on volunteers because of COVID. Their small staff now works 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

“Thanksgiving, Christmas, you name it, we’re here,” said Marthalaer.

And this year has been their busiest yet.

“Last year, we ended the year with our highest ever at 3,008 patients. We’re already at 3,344 as of yesterday, not counting whatever came in today,” said Marthalaer.

Marthalaer doesn’t know why there’s such a big increase, but he said it could have something to do with more people staying at home and more pets being outside in the yard.

Storms like the one this weekend don’t help the birds and animals either, but the WRC crew will be there to nurse them back to health as much as they can.

“We think that it’s important for us to give those animals a second chance,” said Marthalaer.

Anyone interested in donating to the Wildlife Resource Center can visit their website.

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Unusual Number Of Birds Injured In Weekend Storm